Banner
Home Forums Movie Theaters The Lobby Need help getting started
Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: Need help getting started

Need help getting started 28 Dec 2005 19:59 #11774

  • BarryB
  • BarryB's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: 0
My wife and I are thinking about opening up a twin cinema with 100-150 seats per theater in our community. We are a growing community of about 4000 people, with a close two county base of well over 100K. There are two other name theaters within driving distance (15-20 miles). But there is currently nothing up here and we feel this would be a good business opportunity to at least pursue. The town pretty much shuts down at 8 P.M. and I feel that if there was something open, that people would utilize it.

I really need to know where to start. A banker told me to find a real estate developer that would back me and either own the building and let me pay him rent, or set me up on a lease/purchase plan. I can think of no current building in the community that could easily be transformed into a theater.

What kind of initial startup costs would I be looking at? And what are things to consider? Tier seating vs. traditional? How much does it cost per movie to get them to view? What will moderate to good equipment run me?

I have an extensive working background in accounting, purchasing, and planning. I believe I can make this work if I can just get it off the ground. I am wanting to start as small as possible and initially only be open on Friday for two shows, Saturday for two shows and possibly a matinee, and Sunday for a matinee and possibly one early evening show. I might also look at private parties on the other days of the week as an effort to lure additional business.

I have estimated average ticket prices to be $5-6 per seat. But I assume that the greatest margins are in concession sales. Any help appreciated.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Need help getting started 28 Dec 2005 23:21 #11775

  • theBigE
  • theBigE's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Expert Boarder
  • Posts: 85
  • Karma: 0
Hello, brand new poster here, but I understand your concerns and desires to open a new theater as I have been checking out the situation in my hometown as well.

READ THROUGH THIS WEBSITE!

Check the FAQ sections - they have been invaluable in my pursuit of opening a movie theater.

From what I've heard, new theaters cost roughly $300,000+ a screen to build from scratch.

Good luck and let us know your progress!
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Need help getting started 29 Dec 2005 19:45 #11776

  • BarryB
  • BarryB's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: 0
I've read through and still haven't found the answer to my questions. My main question is how much do film companies charge you for getting their movies to view?

Also, I have a very good paying job in the daytime that I don't intend to quit immediately. My wife will oversee the daily business end of things until a theater is doing well enough to warrant me quitting my job.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Need help getting started 30 Dec 2005 01:50 #11777

  • Ken Layton
  • Ken Layton's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 862
  • Thank you received: 4
  • Karma: -1
Film rentals/licensing varies depending on whether you are first run, second run, sub run status. First run is the most expensive as film rental is a minimum percentage of the boxoffice gross which varies from movie-to-movie and studio. First run usually dictates you run a minimum of 3 showtimes a day, 7 days a week operation, and a minimum run of 3 weeks. Sometimes you even have to cough up 'upfront' money just to even get a particular movie. This makes small town operation expensive and difficult.

If there's no close competition, you could get away with second run status which is much less restictive and typically you can get the film rental for either a flat weekly rate or a 35% of the gate to the film distributor.

If you are new, the studios will want cash upfront for a couple of months until you've established you can pay your bills on time and you're honest. Don't ever lie to a film distributor---you don't want to piss them off or you won't get any movies to show!

First run product may also get you visited by a "checker" for the studio of the movie you're playing. That checker is there to verify ticket count, patron count and money amounts. They are sent out by the studio to ensure they are getting what they are entitled to. Don't ever make the mistake of "under-reporting" grosses/ticket sales. That's a felony and could get you serious jail time.

For newbies such as yourself, you should hire a "film booker" to handle all the movie bookings for you. Bookers don't work for free, though. You could book films yourself, but that involves lots of phone calls and you may or may not get the best deal on rental terms.

I'm sure others could add to this, but it's best to go into the archives here and change your search default to "show all topics" instead of "from last 20 days".
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Need help getting started 03 Jan 2006 14:53 #11778

  • Alan_G
  • Alan_G's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Senior Boarder
  • Posts: 70
  • Karma: 0
Check the FAQ sections - they have been invaluable in my pursuit of opening a movie theater.
When you go into the FAQ Forum be sure to use the little dropdown menu to select "Show all posts" and then click GO, so that you will see all the early posts there.

Later you may want to look at older posts in some of the other forums as well.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Need help getting started 04 Jan 2006 18:48 #11779

  • BECKWITH1
  • BECKWITH1's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 769
  • Karma: 0
Typically, you must pay upfront cash for your movies for about 2 years while you establish your credit with the movie distributors. This varies a bit with differing state laws. They will also pull your credit reports to decide whether they even want to deal with you at all. After two years or so of paying up front, you will still have to bring it to their attention that you have been paying them faithfully in advance and you don't need to keep doing it.

While I agree with Ken that they will want you to run a 7 day schedule in most cases to be granted a first run license, they don't generally require that you run more than 1 show per day as long as you don't have serious competition. We are in about as competitive a spot as it is possible to be in and they don't make us run more than we currently run: 7 days per week, 3 shows on Friday, 4-5 on Sat, 3-4 on Sun and 2 per day Mon - Thurs.

Typically, you should allocate 50-60% of your admissions to the movie distributors for first run. It varies depending on how you run your business and how old the movies are. This business ain't cheap and it will take a lot of sweat and money to get it started and keep it running. Most people on the outside think that we are making lots of money. We aren't - just lucky to make a basic living doing what we want to do. But then, we work 365 days per year, 8 - 14 hour days. Don't count on your receipts to help you pay a lot of help. Expect to do a lot of the hours and the hard stuff yourself.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Need help getting started 05 Jan 2006 21:28 #11780

  • BarryB
  • BarryB's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: 0
Thanks for the replies. It appears that if I even do this that I'm looking at first run. I've estimated that average ticket sales in this area would be $6 per seat. I don't know what the film rules are, but I wouldn't want to be a 7 day per week operation initially. And we would plan on this being a "family" business where we worked like dogs. Part-time help in our area would be easy to come by and the kids around here are mostly well-mannered with good work ethics.

The biggest thing going is that our community is growing and there is nothing to do up here after dark. And I mean nothing. The entertainment dollar is there 100% for the taking.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
  • Page:
  • 1
Time to create page: 0.167 seconds
attraction attraction
attraction
attraction
attraction
attraction